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The Devil Makes Three

Friday, July 25, 2014

The Devil Makes Three are the rare band that tap into our collective subconscious, knowing just what we need, and give it to us. I don’t think artists can consciously attain this – it’s something that just happens, a rare chemical reaction of sorts when the right elements come into orbit around each other.

I’ve seen DM3 play large stages, small houses, film festivals, and inside a cold and dreary stairwell; each time they’ve adapted to their surroundings, played their hearts out, and left me happier and sweatier than I was prior. A quick look around confirmed it wasn’t just me… You’ve never seen a room collectively heave for breath the way it does after dancing and jumping along to these three madmen (well, two madmen and a madwoman), the sound of our panting slowly overtaking the dying echoes of their song.

Collective. I’ve just gone and used that word twice. Not because my vocabulary is lacking, or at least I hope not. No, because it’s the word that best fits. Webster’s defines it as “shared or done by a group of people : involving all members of a group.” Collaborative is kind of the same thing, but lacking in a certain implied punch, you know? When these three get together and make music, they’re channeling the sort of boot-stomping American folk music that wouldn’t be out of place in the deepest Appalachia or hippest Williamsburg. Existing beyond trendy catchphrases like “Americana,” it’s simply music for the people, by the people, straight from and to the heart. For those couple of sets, we’re all a part of the same collective. Theirs or ours, it doesn’t matter. That’s the true, transformative beauty of it: a real, uplifting, analog experience that can, however briefly, distract us from our digitally distracted existences.

If you know DM3, you know just what I’m talking about. And if you don’t, well, I can’t wait ‘til you do.

– James Joiner

      Special Projects Editor, Esquire Digital